Deebo Samuel, an offensive player for the 49ers whose role is difficult to describe, now has an appropriate title.
He is a Pro Bowl player.
Samuel was named to the NFC Pro Bowl on Wednesday as one of four wide receivers. It is Samuel's first selection to the Pro Bowl his three-year NFL career. His contributions as a pass-catcher and ball-carrier have become invaluable components of coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Samuel was among five 49ers who were named to the NFC Pro Bowl team. Tight end George Kittle, left tackle Trent Williams, fullback Kyle Juszczyk and defensive end Nick Bosa were honored as Pro Bowl starters. The Pro Bowl rosters are selected through voting from fans, players and coaches counting one-third apiece of the final results.
Samuel was among the NFL’s receiving leaders before integrating him into becoming a key part of the team’s running game.
Through nine games, Samuel had 54 receptions for 979 yards and five touchdowns. He has just seven catches in the past four games.
Meanwhile, he has taken off in a role lined up in the 49ers’ backfield. Over the past five games, he has 33 rushing attempts for 242 yards and six touchdowns.
Kittle was selected to his third Pro Bowl in five years in the NFL. He has come on strong this season after struggling with a calf injury early in the season. In 11 games, Kittle has 850 yards and a career-best six touchdowns on 63 receptions.
He continues to be regarded as the top run-blocking tight end in the NFL. Kittle finished third in the fan voting behind Kansas City’s Travis Kelce and Baltimore’s Mark Andrews.
Willams, 33, was chosen to the NFC Pro Bowl in his ninth consecutive season, including both years with the 49ers. He lagged behind in the fan voting until the final week, when he rallied to finish as the NFL’s top vote-getter at offensive tackle.
Williams believes he is having the best season of his NFL career. Pro Football Focus has him graded with his best season. He is rated the league’s best offensive lineman.
Williams sat out the entire 2019 season after undergoing extensive surgery in February of that year to remove a malignant tumor from his scalp. He is still required to undergo checkups every six months.
Juszczyk was selected to his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl. He made the AFC all-star team in 2016, his final season with the Baltimore Ravens, before signing with the 49ers. Juszczyk re-signed with the 49ers this year.
He is a versatile blocker who keys the team’s dynamic running game. He has 25 catches for 242 yards and a touchdown, and has eight rushing attempts for 22 yards and a touchdown. He was the top vote-getter among all fullbacks in the NFL.
Bosa made the Pro Bowl from his NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year season of 2019. His second year in the NFL ended early with a torn ACL in his left knee.
He came back stronger than ever this season and is currently tied for third in the NFL with 15 sacks in 14 games. He has forced four fumbles and has a league-best 18 tackles for loss. Bosa led all defensive ends in fan voting.
The 49ers had seven players named as Pro Bowl alternates, including linebacker Fred Warner.
Warner was previously selected to the Pro Bowl last year. The 49ers rewarded him in the offseason with a five-year, $95 million extension. Warner is the 49ers’ leader with 108 tackles. He has three fumble recoveries, broken up four passes and has four tackles for loss. He finished fourth in the NFL in fan voting among inside linebackers.
Guard Laken Tomlinson, center Alex Mack, defensive lineman Arik Armstead, free safety Jimmie Ward, punter Mitch Wishnowsky and special-teams player Trenton Cannon were also named as Pro Bowl alternates.